Kyoji Horiguchi Vacating Bellator Bantamweight Title Is Reason Enough for a Grand Prix

By Edward Carbajal Nov 27, 2019
Kyoji Horiguchi has decided to relinquish the Bellator MMA bantamweight title due to the injury he received preparing for his scheduled bout for the end of this year. When the injury was initially announced, it came with Horiguchi vacating his Rizin Fighting Federation title as well. In their press release, Bellator President Scott Coker said that Horiguchi will receive an immediate title shot after he is fully healed.

When the news first came out, it was said that Horiguchi already had the surgery on his knee and would need about 10 months to get back to his old self. That’s a long time and since the Bellator grand prix events are going well, why not hold another one to crown a new champion? Fighters like Patrick Mix and Juan Archuleta have expressed interest in facing Horiguchi in the past, and since business seems to go well with their friends in Japan, why not add some Rizin bantamweights to the mix as well?

Of course, there's a lot more that goes into planning a yearlong grand prix, let alone one with the addition of another promotion and their broadcasting partners. However, when the initial announcement came out from about Horiguchi’s injury, Rizin President Nobuyuki Sakakibara said, “We will work hard to take this situation and turn it into a positive.”

What’s more positive than giving an opportunity to a few hungry contenders from both promotions?

Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.

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